BASIC SELF-DEFENSE CONCEPTS — DEFENSIVE ACTIONS:
The basic concepts presented here relate to the use of a counter-measure in the initial defense of yourself. If you are confronted with a situation you cannot avoid, then you must learn, in advance, to be keenly alert to the smallest of details, especially about the assailant. Your intent is to accomplish and resolve at least four key objectives:
*Distract your assailant’s intent;
*Re-direct his direction of attack;
*Disable his method of attack;
*Render him incapable of further attack;
In a confrontation situation you must be willing to inflict a disabling or incapacitating injury, so that he will be unable to pursue further assault. Techniques that do not inflict disabling injury, and accomplish the objectives above may lead to further attack and serious injury on your part.
A real—life street situation has no relation in any way to fight scenes you have seen on television or in the movies. Attack situations on the street last seconds, and you do not have the time to waste on fancy foot techniques, or tactics that are too complicated, unless you are expertly trained and educated, with many years of experience. Even then, there are no guarantees of success. There are too many variables.
There are a few basic rules in self-defense, which might be considered along with the objectives mentioned above. Such includes:
I) Never underestimate your assailant. Assume the assailant is capable of doing anything, including taking your life. Therefore, be extremely cautious at all times.
2) Be aware that if you decide to confront an assailant, ‘stand and fight’, you must be willing to inflict a disabling technique, and try to get away as soon as possible. If you try something and you miss, or it does not stop you assailant, you are risking serious personal injury for yourself. Therefore, fighting should be a last resort and when other alternatives have failed that are less confrontational,
3) Remember, in a ‘self-defense’ situation, there are no guarantees that one tactic or technique will prove l00 effective for each and every situation.
4) Be extremely careful and cautious when confronted by someone with a weapon, such as a gun or knife, or anything else used as a weapon.
5) Avoid whenever possible any initial effort as your first move in attempting to move in on a knife or gun, or trying to take a weapon- from an assailant. Use alternative tactics, such as talking, and only take direct action if no other alternative is available (for example: immediate life-threatening situations),
6) Learn basic practical approaches to self-defense. Do not become overly concerned about ‘fancy’ footwork or complicated techniques.
7) Study, review, research and practice self-defense techniques and countermeasures everyday. Plan ahead and think about situations and how you might react.
8) Be aware of the hidden dangers of advice from ‘so-called experts’ with regard to confrontational advice. Some advice reflects naive and uninformed ideas about self-defense tactics. Beware of one-dimensional thinking with regard to assailants and techniques.
9) Remember, advance preparation is very important in self-defense & personal safety tactics. It is important to assess your individual strengths and weaknesses. You should learn how to use your environment to your advantage, and you should understand assaultive types of behavior. To survive, you must prepare yourself for the unexpected.
10) Understand at least four important elements in a confrontation or assault situation:
a) The particular set of circumstances, including the surrounding environment, the initial approach of the assailant, and your efforts at planning ahead for the unexpected.
b) Your personality type, mental and physical training, and your willingness to survive.
c) The personality type of the assailant, motivation of the type of assault, weapons present, object of attack, etc.
d) Alternatives, tactics and techniques appropriate to the situation.
There are many other aspects of self-defense that should be considered, but this initial list should provide the basis for your development of an individualized personal safety program.
It is important to understand that fighting on the Street has no relationship whatsoever with what you have seen in the movies, or on television. As mentioned earlier, your basic objectives in a street fight situation is to survive, or help someone else survive. These basic objectives are accomplished by:
1) Causing your assailant to be distracted from his intentions, and consider stopping his attack. This may be accomplished by making his concentration become faulty and redirected.
2) Redirecting his direction of attack by disrupting his control over his body.
3) Disabling his method of attack by damaging his body with disabling techniques.
4) Rendering him incapable of further assault, and allowing time for you to escape and summon assistance.
These objectives are supported by direct action designed to attack vulnerable areas of the body. Note, that at this point in the discussion we are talking about situations when you have reached the point where no other alternative is available, and you have decided to fight as a last resort. Possible targets for such countermeasures include, but are not limited to:
1) Attacking the central nervous system, such as the head, spinal
2) Attacking the circulation system, such as carotid arteries, and
3) Disruption of breathing, such as the throat area.
4) Attacking vulnerable areas such as joints, groin, etc.
Mind, Body and Spirit
One of the most important aims in self-defense training is the precise coordination of mind, body and spirit. An essential balance in all three areas is important, and come through practice and dedication. Control in techniques is importantly related to the three. Ensuring the balance requires understanding and reasoning, as well as practicing with a disciplined conviction.
(Gonzalez, R.A., Social Survival Tactics: A Guide to Basic Self-Defense and Personal Safety Strategy, (Murphy, NC: Randolph Gonzalez Publishing, 1987), pages 1-4; A Criminal Justice Basic Training Manual on CD-ROM from Amazon.Com)